Dysphagia From Food Obstruction
One minute youre enjoying a tender and delicious filetmignon and the next thing you know youre coughing and trying to clear yourthroat over a painful lump. No matter how much you swallow or water you drink the sensation that a piece of steak is stuck in your throat just wont go away. Are you choking? You can still breathe, but your throat and chest hurt. Whatgives?
Food obstruction can be very dangerous depending on what isstuck and where its stuck, says Dr. Lee. If a piece of food is stuck in the upperesophagus, it can get dislodged and fall into the wind pipe, which would cut offthe air supply and the person might turn blue and pass out. If the food isstuck in the lower esophagus, the person could probably still swallow theirspit, but it would be very painful.
Food or a foreign object stuck in the esophagus can causecontact irritation, inflammation and erosion. Meat with tenderizer or marinadeon it, if lodged in the esophagus for a prolonged period of time, can cause damageto the esophageal lining.
If you cant swallow your own saliva, start drooling, haveshortness of breath or difficulty breathing, you need to seek immediate medicalattention or call 911, says Dr. Lee.
And when it comes to home remedies for removing the food item, Dr. Lee is skeptical. If the food obstruction is mild, water or carbonated beverages might help ease the food down, but be careful to not overdo it. If the food obstruction is severe, you run the risk of adding to it.
Wash And Cover Pillows
After a long day, everyone looks forward to snuggling into their pillow.
You know what else loves pillows? Dust mites. The horrifying factoid that pillows and mattresses get heavier over time from dust mites and their droppings? Itâs true, says Dr. Sinha.
Washable pillowcase dust covers are a must. Wash those and your usual pillowcases every 3 weeks. Depending on the kind of pillow you have, it can be washed or dry cleaned every 3 to 4 months.
Sudden Allergies To Fruits You Were Fine With Before
Certain fruitslike bananas and melonscontain compounds that are very similar to the pollens in trees or ragweed. So when you eat them, you may get the kind of reaction you get when you spend time in nature, says Hurwitz.
In fact, when youre in allergy season and you have symptoms, even non-allergens can be irritating, too, says Dr. Blair. Perfumes, paint fumes, and even pollution can be harder to withstand when youre already inflamed with allergies.
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Immunotherapy May Provide Relief
If you are allergic to ragweed pollen, there are options for treatment. Many of them are available over the counter.
- Nasal corticosteroids These nasal sprays treat nasal inflammation, reduce symptoms and congestion, and block allergic reactions. They are the most effective for nasal symptoms and have few side effects.
- Antihistamines They work by reducing your runny nose, sneezing, and itching in your eyes and sinuses. Choose non-drowsy options.
- Leukotriene inhibitors This medicine blocks chemicals your body releases when you have an allergic reaction.
- Cromolyn sodium This nasal spray blocks chemicals that cause allergy symptoms, like histamine and leukotrienes.
If over-the-counter allergy medicine doesnt relieve your allergy symptoms, talk to a board-certified allergist about other treatment options. It is especially important for you to seek treatment if you have allergic asthma and ragweed pollen is a trigger for you.
Many people benefit from immunotherapy. This can come in the form of allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy .
With allergy shots, your doctor gives you injections of allergens in an increasing dose over time. You gradually become less sensitive to that allergen.
With SLIT, you take a small dose of an allergen under your tongue. You also gradually become less sensitive to that allergen. Currently, SLIT is available for ragweed and dust mite allergies.
Healthy Indoor Air Quality Can Help You Manage Your Asthma And Allergies Overall
If ragweed pollen season drives you to spend more time indoors, pay attention to your indoor air quality. Indoor air is often more polluted than outside air. Poor indoor air quality can make your asthma and allergies worse. Combine poor indoor air quality with ragweed pollen, and you may be downright miserable.
The following can affect your indoor air quality:
- Allergens, like dust mites, pet dander, cockroaches, and mold
- Scents, chemicals, and volatile organic compounds
- Outdoor air pollution
Use our interactive Healthy Home Checklist to find where allergens, triggers, and irritants can hide. Then follow the steps to improve your indoor air.
Some products can help you improve and maintain good indoor air. The asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program helps you find products that have been scientifically tested in labs and meet strict standards. These products have proven that they effectively remove or reduce your exposure to asthma and allergy triggers. Through our program, youll find CERTIFIED vacuum cleaners, air filters, bedding, flooring, and more.
Medical Review August 2019. Updated August 2021
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Apple Cider Vinegar For Allergies
Would you not be surprised if this all-round medicine did not feature on this list?
Apple Cider Vinegar has been used for many years to treat many different ailments internally and externally.
Asides it being a medicine, it can also be used for multitudes of housekeeping tasks.
It works great for seasonal allergy treatment as it reduces mucus production and cleanses the lymphatic system.
If you are up to it, you can just directly swallow a tablespoon of ACV.
If that is difficult because of its taste, you can mix it with a glass of water and honey.
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Clear Signs You Have Seasonal Allergies
Dont confuse allergies with a head cold.
For some people, just the thought of being outside during spring or summer makes them want to sneeze.
Some people love spring and summer: Blooming flowers, warm sunshine and chirping birds are a welcome arrival for many people after the dark and cold winter months. For about 8% of American adults, though, the change of seasons spells misery.
Those 20 million people deal with allergic rhinitis, or seasonal allergies, a condition caused when your immune system reacts to something in the environment. In most cases, that something is pollen from trees, grasses and weeds.
Commonly called hay fever, seasonal allergies actually have nothing to do with hay or fevers. That misnomer comes from a long-gone era when symptoms would strike during hay harvests in late summer and early fall, before medical professionals knew what allergies were.
Think you might have seasonal allergies? See how your symptoms match up against these four big signs.
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Whats Making You Sniffle And Sneeze
Youâre sneezing and sniffling, and you feel crummy. Allergies may be your first thought, especially if you have a history of them. An allergy is when your immune system reacts to something harmless, like pollen or pet dander, as if it were a threat. Your body releases chemicals called histamines, which cause things like sneezing, a runny nose, and watery eyes. But allergies arent the only condition that can create these symptoms.
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What Months Are Spring Allergies
Depending on your location, spring allergies can take place as early as February and last until summer. Its important to check your local weather to find out when the blooming would start.
For instance, in Indiana and Kentucky, the weather changes daily toward the end of the winter season. During this time, plants start to bloom and let go of pollen. This signals the beginning of seasonal spring allergies.
Youll typically experience symptoms from early March until May. However, in areas where cold weather would arrive later, spring allergies would also be pushed back.
Spring allergies can make you feel miserable, so dont let them catch you unprepared. Take note of these answers to frequently asked questions, and take precautionary steps to fight spring allergies.
Are there other ways on how you can handle and avoid spring allergies? Let us know in the comment section below!
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What To Do When Your Throat Is Closing Up From Allergies
You can gargle with a mixture of salt, baking soda, and warm water, or suck on a throat lozenge. Rest your voice until you feel better. Anaphylaxis is treated under close medical supervision and with a shot of epinephrine. Other medications like antihistamines and corticosteroids may be necessary as well.
- Certain medications, including some for birth control and blood pressure
- Deviated septum, which is the crooked placement of the wall that separates the two nostrils, or some other problem with the structure of the nose that affects the sinuses
- Changing weather, cold temperatures, or really dry air
- Certain foods
- Fumes from chemicals, perfumes, cleaning products, smoke, or other irritants
Sometimes the problem is not that youre producing too much mucus, but that its not being cleared away. Swallowing problems can cause a buildup of liquids in the throat, which can feel like postnasal drip. These problems can sometimes occur with age, a blockage, or conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD.
You’ve Got All The Typical Symptoms
If you think of sneezing, wheezing and watery eyes when you think of seasonal allergies, you’d be on the right track. There’s a good chance you have seasonal allergies if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Frequent sneezing
- Itchy throat
- Puffy eyelids
Most seasonal allergies are caused by pollen from trees, grasses and weeds. If you have winter allergies, you’re probably allergic to an indoor allergen like dust mites.
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Can Allergies Make You Feel Like You Cant Breathe
Can allergies cause shortness of breath? The answer is yes: an environmental allergy can affect your airway in two distinct ways, potentially resulting in shortness of breath. Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, affects your nose and sinuses. It can lead to sneezing, congestion, an itchy nose, and itchy eyes.
Spring Is Here 5 Things Allergy Sufferers Need To Know
Due to global climate changes, allergists warn that spring allergy season continues to worsen each year. Dr. Jigisha Morosky, an allergist/immunologist with Starling Physicians, addresses the most common questions about seasonal allergies.
How do you know if it is a cold, allergy or COVID?
Sometimes it is difficult for people to determine if sniffles, sneezes, sore throat and coughs are caused by allergies, a cold or even sinusitis. Dr. Morosky explains that nasal allergy symptoms and common cold symptoms are essentially identical. Variables we examine are exposure to an allergen, like pollen or a pet, the duration of symptoms months versus 1 to 2 weeks, and if there is improvement while taking allergy medications.
Spring allergies can cause itchy water eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, sneezing, coughing and even hives. The symptoms of a cold are often characterized by runny nose, sore throat and cough. Patients with severe seasonal allergies can feel very fatigued and have low grade fever making the distinction even harder.
Acute sinusitis is characterized by a stuffy or runny nose accompanied by pain in the forehead and/or over the cheeks. Often both the common cold and allergies can cause swelling of the nasal passages, which prevent the sinuses from draining, then this can lead to sinusitis. Sinusitis can be treated with antibiotics, however it often recurs if due to uncontrolled allergies.
What are best over the counter methods to treat allergies?
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What Allergy Treatments Are Available
Treatments can help a great deal, says Dr. Hsu. Allergy treatment has changed over the past 10 years, with a number of first-line medications now available over the counter, she says. So, while we have lots of consultations with patients, we dont necessarily send a prescription to the pharmacy. We often advise people on what to buybut we want to be very specific, because there are certainly a lot of over-the-counter medications that we would not recommend as first-line treatments.
For instance, she might start with antihistamines for itching and runny nose, steroid nasal sprays for nasal passage congestion, and antihistamine eye drops for ocular symptoms. If a patient is still uncomfortable, she might recommend a decongestant, but not for daily use, since its a medication patients can become overly reliant on. Likewise, some patients should avoid antihistamines that are excessively sedating, she says.
The problem is that some people think theyll just grin and bear it. But… you can take steps to minimize those weeks of misery.Yale Medicine pediatric allergist Stephanie Leeds, MD
Its helpful when patients have a skin or blood test to find out exactly what they are allergic to. If you are really symptomatic, its helpful to get tested at least once. I dont think you need to be re-tested year after year, but at some point, establishing the specific triggers can be helpful, because then you can take steps to avoid exposure, Dr. Leeds says.
Travel Wisely During Pollen And Mold Seasons
If you take a road trip when the pollen count is high, make sure to keep your car windows closed. Before you begin your trip, start the car and turn on the air conditioner, then get out and let the air inside the car cool. If you can, travel early in the morning or in the evening. Also avoid vacationing in a high-allergy destination. For example, you might want to stay away from damp, cold climates because of mold, and damp tropical climates because of mites, molds, and pollens.
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What Are Your Symptoms
Both allergies and colds may cause a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, a cough, and fatigue. Itchy eyes, post-nasal drip, and dark circles under your eyes are more common with allergies. Symptoms more commonly caused by a virus include sore throat, cloudy or discolored nasal discharge, fever, and general aches and pains.
Your Symptoms Only Show Up At Certain Times
If you have seasonal allergies, your symptoms should arise and go away around the same time each year. For most people, seasonal allergy symptoms begin in the spring and end in the fall. However, depending on your allergy triggers, you may experience allergic rhinitis in any of the four seasons. Here’s a rundown of plants that commonly cause seasonal allergies:
Spring: Tree pollen, particularly that from oak, elm, birch, cedar, willow, poplar, horse chestnut and alder trees.
Summer:Grasses, such as ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, Timothy grass, Bermuda grass and more.
Fall:Pollen from weeds is the main concern in the fall months. Many people are allergic to the pollen in ragweed, tumbleweed, pigweed, sagebrush, Russian thistle and more.
Winter: Most people find that their allergies go dormant during the winter months because most plants don’t pollinate during winter. If you still get watery eyes and a runny nose during cold weather, you might be allergic to indoor allergens, such as dust mites, mold or pet dander.
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What Is An Allergy Test
An allergist performs tests to pinpoint the cause of your allergic reactions.
There are two kinds of tests:
- Skin tests: The doctor pricks the surface of the skin, usually on the upper arm, and injects a tiny amount of suspected allergens. If an allergy exists, the skin will react by becoming inflamed, red and swollen, which may cause temporary discomfort. Skin tests give fast resultsusually within a half hour or 24 to 48 hours.
- Blood tests: Blood is drawn and sent to a lab. The disadvantage is that it may take several days for the results to come back. However, more allergens can be tested with blood tests than with skin tests, Blood tests are used to identify seasonal allergies as well as perennial allergies, plus allergies to food, medications, and insect bites or stings. If you have chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, blood tests are recommended instead of skin tests to prevent further irritation.
Its important to tell your allergist about any medications you are taking because some can compromise your allergy test results.
How Do I Manage Hay Fever
These unpleasant and sometimes debilitating symptoms can be relieved by avoidance of the allergic triggers and the use of antihistamines. Find our 3 top tips below:
For more detailed information about hay fever and for more useful tips on management and treatment, please find further useful resources below.
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Ragweed Grows In 49 States
If you live in Alaska, consider yourself lucky. You live in the only state where ragweed doesnt grow. Ragweed has even been introduced to Hawaii. Within the 49 states where ragweed grows, there are 17 different types of ragweed.
Track ragweed season where you live. Check sites like AAAAI’s National Allergy Bureau to follow pollen readings regularly. This will help you take steps to reduce your exposure to ragweed pollen.
Ragweed pollen peaks in the mornings. Plan your time outside for the afternoon and evenings when possible.
What Are Some Symptoms Of Tree Pollen Allergies
A tree pollen allergy is a sign that your immune system is prone to make mistakes. When you were first exposed to the pollen of trees, your body thought it was being invaded by something dangerous and therefore flagged tree pollen as a harmful substance. Ever since then, your body has been on the lookout for tree pollen. When you breathe in the small particles that trees release in order to fertilize each other, your immune system sends out an antibody called immunoglobulin E to neutralize the allergen. As it delivers the allergens to your mast cells for destruction, chemicals are released. One of these chemicals is histamine, and it’s responsible for most of the tree pollen allergy symptoms you experience.
Typically, trees begin pollinating in the early spring. You’ll normally feel allergic symptoms as soon as you breathe in the pollen or it lands on your nasal membranes. Such symptoms include a runny nose or congestion watery or itchy eyes sneezing coughing itchy nose, throat or roof of mouth sinus pressure and occasionally even a decreased sense of taste or smell. For some people, tree pollen allergies cross react with the proteins in certain foods. Oral allergy syndrome, or pollen-allergy syndrome as it’s sometimes called, happens when your body confuses certain fresh fruits, vegetables or nuts with the pollen of the trees you’re allergic to. When that happens, you’ll experience a tingling, itching or swelling around your mouth as you eat those foods.
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